Seminary Introduces Climate Justice and Faith Certificate

Source: Living Lutheran

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) grants an inaugural class of Certificates in Climate Justice and Faith.

During the past year students representing 10 countries and ranging in age from 21 to 70 have gathered virtually for a course of study facilitated by the seminary’s Center for Climate Justice and Faith, designed by Elena Cedillo and Chad Rimmer. At the core of the certificate program are international students learning together and supporting one another.

The Center for Climate Justice and Faith is the result of a collaboration between the seminary, LWF, Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) and ELCA World Hunger. “This collaboration is Spirit-led,” said Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, professor of theological and social ethics at the seminary and the center’s founding director. “Without any one of these partners, the certificate in climate justice and faith would not have been born.”

The center’s work reflects the partners’ shared vision of linking faith to effective action. For ELCA World Hunger, the partnership connects two related priorities: addressing the root causes of hunger and investing in the education of leaders working toward a just world where all are fed. This led ELCA World Hunger to provide financial support for the center in 2021 and 2022.

A total of thirty students were a part of the inaugural cohort for the 2021-22 online certificate group. The curriculum focuses on empowering participants to cultivate moral, spiritual and practical power for leadership in the work of climate justice.

Certificate students vary in vocation and background but are all looking to integrate their faith with a desire to act locally for climate solutions.

During the fall semester, students heard from experts, explored theological and biblical foundations for climate justice, while interacting with one another in online forums and weekly discussions. The spring semester encourages in-context skill-building, allowing students to apply what they’ve learned by developing a “Sacred Action” project intended to serve their community.

PLTS hopes to expand the program in the future to include an in-person component at its Berkeley, California campus.

Source: Living Lutheran